ThinkFast: August 27, 2009


Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick embraced the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s request yesterday that “the governor be given the power to appoint someone to the seat until voters can choose a permanent successor in a special election.” “I’d like the Legislature to take up the bill quickly and get it to my desk and I will sign it,” Patrick told the Boston Globe.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) resisted calls to resign yesterday, saying he won’t be “railroaded” out of office. “A lot of what’s going on is pure politics,” said Sanford in a press conference. This week, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer became the highest-ranking Republican official to call on Sanford to step down.

According to the CIA inspector general report released this week, a year “after the Bush administration abandoned its harshest interrogation methods, CIA operatives used severe sleep deprivation tactics against a terror detainee in late 2007, keeping him awake for six straight days with permission from government lawyers.”

In a new report titled “Bank-Rolling Congress,” Public Citizen reports that bank “lobbyists, political action committees and trade associations connected to the industry have scheduled 70 fundraisers for Members since Election Day 2008 and have made $6 million in contributions.”

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) yesterday requested that six top insurance company executives appear before his subcommittee to explain how they do business. Kucinich has asked the six executives from Aetna, WellPoint, Cigna, Humana, Hemingway Health Care, and United Health to “put into context anecdotes of claims denials, deferrals, and policy recission by insurers.”

A U.S. service member was killed in a militant attack in Afghanistan, bringing the number of U.S. troops who have died there this month to 44, “tying August with July for the deadliest month of the eight-year war.” “More than 60,000 U.S. troops are now in the country — a record number — to combat rising insurgent violence.”

The coffers of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have been so depleted by the epidemic of collapsing financial institutions that analysts warn it could sink into the red by the end of this year,” the Washington Post reports. The organization will disclose today “how much is left in its insurance fund, and update the number of banks on its list of troubled institutions.”

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that his agency will support “net neutrality” and will go after anyone who violates its tenets. The provision, which telecom companies have lobbied fiercely against, ensures the Internet would remain free of “increased user fees based on heavy Web traffic and slow downloads.”

And finally: Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts “did not appreciate her invitation to an upcoming ‘Pimps & Hos’ themed ball” at the North Carolina club Suite. “I find your choice of themes extremely harmful for this community,” Roberts replied to the organizers, adding, “Prostitution remains illegal in the state of North Carolina and is very often linked with violent abuse of women. I am shocked that you are celebrating it in this way.”

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